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How to Choose the Right Home Inspection Company: Researching Home Inspection Companies

Purchasing a home is a HUGE investment to say the least. The stress that comes along with searching for real estate agents, loan officers, real estate attorney's and eventually home inspection companies can take a toll. In today's real estate market just having your offer accepted can add to the time, money and additional stress to an already stressful event.

The home inspection is performed typically after your offer was accepted usually after attorney approval. The attorney approval is the process in which the attorneys look over the contract and clarify certain contingencies and or condition such as: Home inspection deadline, closing date, closing location, agreed upon price etc. The deadlines set forth in the attorney approval process can really dictate who you hire as a home inspector especially when you are up against deadlines. Some transactions call for a home inspection to be performed within only a few days.

The Home Inspection Deadline effects the home inspection Company you Choose

Let's say you have 5 days to have a home inspection scheduled and perform the home inspection. Depending on the home you may need additional services that most home inspection companies don't perform such as: sewer scope inspections, septic inspections, pool inspections, mold inspections, chimney inspections, asbestos testing (if questionable asbestos is found and you'd like the material tested) and written estimates for majors discovered during the home inspection.

Within a 60-mile radius of Albany NY there are probably 300+ Home Inspection Companies. Choosing the right home inspection business especially on a short notice can be mind boggling. Additionally, during the busy season you really would like a home inspector who owns or works for a reputable home inspection business to perform the inspection. The reputable home inspector and or the companies to perform the additional services such as sewer scopes, chimney, pool, septic and mold inspection may be booked out 2 weeks. Due to the short deadlines most home buyers are turning to a multi-inspector firm that performs multiple services.

Multi Inspector Home Inspection Companies

While most home inspection businesses are single man operation there are some multi-inspector firms in upstate New York. Some people feel if the owner of the home inspection firm is not performing the home inspection, they may be receiving less quality. In some cases, this may be true - but if you do your research on the home inspection company as a whole along with educating yourself on the companies' individual home inspectors actual experience, you'll be able to avoid a catastrophic scenario.

Researching The Multi Inspector Firm

The licensing procedure to become a home inspector is minimal. You attend a home inspection school for a few months, perform a few mock inspections, take a school and state exam and wahlaaa! you are a NYS licensed Home Inspector. The way you would research your DRs office and or DR should be the same way you look into the home inspection company you are hiring. Questions you should ask.

What experience does the owner and home inspectors have within the construction industry?

A licensed home inspector of 3 years with 15 years previous experience as car mechanic or a truck driver will have a lot less knowledge than a home inspector who has been licensed for 1 month but owned a construction company for let's say 5 years. You should ask the home inspection company you call who the home inspector will be and what is their actual experience in the construction field.

What is your earliest availability and what is the approximate turnaround time on the report?

Remember your offer may put you up against a time crunch to have the home inspected. If you previously looked up home inspection companies and you initially had one in mind, but they aren't available for 10 days this may throw a wrench into your offer. This is when a REPUTABLE and EXPERIENCED home inspection company can really help you out. A multi-inspector firm can perform the home inspection along with all of the additional services and have a quick turn around on all reports all within 1-2 days from the initial phone call. During the extremely busy season it may take a little longer. But remember other single man operation inspection firms may be booked out 10 days, only perform home inspections and or a few additional services and may not be able to produce the reports quickly due to them performing all of the tasks and duties a single man owner operated company has to perform to keep their business running.

What Services do you Perform?

You may want to have the sewer line scoped, septic inspected, chimney swept and inspected, and the pool evaluated. Most companies do not perform these additional services or may only perform some. There may be a couple companies who perform written estimates for majors found during the home inspection. Additional Services and inspections that may be needed or you may want performed prior to moving forward on a property are Sewer Scopes, Septic, Chimney Sweep/Inspection, Asbestos Testing, Mold Inspection/Assessment, Asbestos Testing, Written Estimates for Majors and Pool Inspections. 99% of Home Inspection Companies offer well testing, pest and radon.

Choosing the wrong multi-inspection firm or home inspector that is not experienced

Some of the concerns you may have regarding choosing the wrong home inspection company are obvious. The home inspector may miss a big-ticket item, right? On the flip side you may actually lose out on a home due to the home inspector not being experienced enough to explain the defects observed may not really be a problem at all! Additionally, they may not be able to give you a ballpark realistic estimate to correct said deficiencies. This may result in the buyer calling local contractors to come out and give them an estimate on a defect or issue that may not be an actual issue. Contractors make a living making repairs to a home, not advising the homeowner or buyer that the defect being is actually not an issue at all. For this reason, it is the utmost important to have a home inspector inspect your home that has construction experience! Imagine losing out on a home for an issue that was discovered that, in reality was no issue at all?


As a buyer, you want to make sure the home inspection company you hire to perform your home inspection can meet your deadlines, has actual construction experience, performs all the services needed or may be needed, will not scare you due to the lack of knowledge or miss a big-ticket item and communicates the defects discovered during the home inspection in a clear and precise way.

Shield Guard Home Inspections is a local multi-inspector home inspection company that performs all services needed during the home inspection process. Shield Guard Home Inspections is the ONLY home inspection company who can produce in house estimates.

Adam Clark



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